Soaring costs expected to accompany huge crowds in town for the Jan. 20 inauguration of Barack Obama could stick cash-strapped Washington, D.C., with a record-breaking bill for services.These estimates for four million people showing up are way overblown. Once those from far-flung regions of the country take a look at the late January forecast in DC, watching at home will be a far better option.
Security and capacity measures recommended by the District’s congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and others will almost certainly surpass the $15 million the federal government gives to the District each year to defray the cost of events, Norton said.
In 2005, with an estimated 300,000 in attendance, the second inauguration of President Bush cost the city more than $17 million, some of which was reimbursed with federal funds. This year, officials estimate nearly five times that many people for the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama.
Police Chief Cathy Lanier expects to use an additional 4,000 police officers from all over the country in addition to her 4,000-member force, she said earlier this month. The city’s inaugural budget allows for only 3,000 extra uniformed officers.
“There will be an additional amount necessary to handle the unprecedented crowds, and I am now working with my colleagues to deal with that amount,” Norton said, adding “it’s an outrage to have costs incurred for federal events.”
None of that will stop the fat-cat celebutards from showing up. Here's an idea: Maybe they can help pay the tab.
Hollywood celebrities are using their sparkle to lure DC powerbrokers to an A-list party celebrating Barack Obama's inauguration - while hitting up corporations and lobby firms for $150,000 to join the action.Five million? C'mon. Yesterday it was four million. Let's not get out of hand here.
Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon and Anne Hathaway are just some of the big names on the long roster of celebs hosting the Creative Coalition's Gala Inaugural Ball the night Obama gets sworn in.
Attendees would be among some 5 million people expected to flock to the historic inauguration. The largest inaugural to date was Lyndon B. Johnson's in 1965, which drew 1.2 million.